County commissioner calls out restaurant after sign to customers left on door

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A Shelby County commissioner is calling out a Midtown restaurant for a sign it put on one of its doors.

Commissioner Tami Sawyer grabbed a picture from Facebook of the sign at the Outback Steakhouse and shared it on social media.

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The sign is now removed but it said: “Due to the stimulus money and tax time, people just do not want to work. For the Outbackers that do show up for work, we ask for your understanding and patience. They are doing the very best to ensure your dining experience is what you have come to expect from Outback.”

Sawyer said the sign implies the employees are lazy.

“This falls into this whole ideology that working-class people are lazy and you send them a tax refund or stimulus and they don’t want to do anything and the reality of the matter is we are in the middle of a global pandemic,” said Sawyer.

On Twitter, Outback Steakhouse responded. It said the sign was not company-approved and was removed from the door.

Outback sent FOX13 a statement as well. It said, “This is not our position and we have addressed this situation with the employee.”

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FOX13 also talked to a manager off-camera. The manager said he didn’t put the sign up but believes the intention was to ask customers to be patient due to a lack of staff at Outback.

Still, Sawyer argues it could’ve been worded better.

“That same message could’ve been communicated to their customers by saying hey everyone we are very backed up and short staffed right now, please show us some grace period,” said Sawyer.

“That’s all you needed, not our lazy employees got 2,000 dollars and we don’t know what they are doing.”

Sawyer said she hopes the business learned its lesson.

“I think any business that shares that language is one that doesn’t seem to have a good relationship with their employees and the reality of their day-to-day life and that’s not something I choose to support,” said Sawyer.